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The Python X Library *** Copyright The main part of the code is Copyright (C) 2000-2002 Peter Liljenberg Some contributed code is copyrighted by the contributors, in these cases that is indicated in the source files in question. The Python X Library is released under GPL, see the file COPYING for details. *** Requirements The Python X Library requires Python 1.5.2 or newer. It has been tested to various extents with Pythons 1.5.2, 2.0 - 2.5. *** Installation The Python Xlib uses the standard distutils to make installation easy. Distutils is shipped with Python 1.6 and newer. Python 1.5.2 users must download and install distutils before Python Xlib can be installed. Distutils can be downloaded from http://www.python.org/sigs/distutils-sig/. Install Python Xlib by running this command: python setup.py install Installation can be modified with the normal install options, see the documentation of distutils for details. Alternatively, you can run programs from the distribution directory, or changing the module path in programs. There's a simple example program, implemented twice using both the high-level interface and the low-level protocol. *** Introduction The Python X Library is intended to be a fully functional X client library for Python programs. It is written entirely in Python, in contrast to earlier X libraries for Python (the ancient X extension and the newer plxlib) which were interfaces to the C Xlib. This is possible to do since X client programs communicate with the X server via the X protocol. The communication takes place over TCP/IP, Unix sockets, DECnet or any other streaming network protocol. The C Xlib is merely an interface to this protocol, providing functions suitable for a C environment. There are three advantages of implementing a pure Python library: * Integration: The library can make use of the wonderful object system in Python, providing an easy-to-use class hierarchy. * Portability: The library will be usable on (almost) any computer which have Python installed. A C interface could be problematic to port to non-Unix systems, such as MS Windows or OpenVMS. * Maintainability: It is much easier to develop and debug native Python modules than modules written in C. *** Project status The low-level protocol is complete, implementing client-side X11R6. The high-level object oriented interface is also fully functional. It is possible to write client applications with the library. Currently, the only real application using Python Xlib is the window manager PLWM, starting with version 2.0. There is a resource database implementation, ICCCM support and a framework for adding X extension code. Currently only the XTEST extension has been implemented. There are most likely still bugs, but the library is at least stable enough to run PLWM. A continously bigger part of the library is covered by regression tests, improving stability. The documentation is still quite rudimentary, but should be of some help for people programming with the Xlib. X beginners should first find some general texts on X. A very good starting point is http://www.rahul.net/kenton/xsites.html See the file TODO for a detailed list of what is missing, approximately ordered by importance. *** Contact information Author email: Peter Liljenberg <email@example.com> Mailing list: http://sourceforge.net/mail/?group_id=10350 The Python X Library is a SourceForged project. The project page is http://sourceforge.net/projects/python-xlib/. Source is available from that page as tar.gz-releases and from the CVS tree. There isn't any real web page yet, only a derivative of this file. It is located at http://python-xlib.sourceforge.net/. It now also features the documentation for downloading or browsing.